The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) said it will not issue a ceasefire order over the Christmas and New Year holidays, countering a similar order by President Rodrigo Duterte last December 7.
The CPP’s Central Committee said Duterte’s “relentless state terrorist attacks and horrific anti-communist onslaught against the people” make the declaration of the traditional ceasefire impossible.
In a statement, the group said Duterte has ignored appeals for a ceasefire to give the people a temporary respite from the oppressive and disruptive presence of fascist troops in their communities.
Duterte’s armed troops have worsened their night-time barging in of civilian homes, massacres, killings, abductions, arrests and torture, bombings, forced mass surrenders and many other human rights violations, the CPP said.
“In the face of the vicious attacks by Duterte’s military and police forces both in the cities and countryside, the CPP Central Committee is forced to dispense with the traditional holiday ceasefire this year,” the group added.
The CPP said the people, especially those who suffer from the coronavirus pandemic lock downs and the many calamities that hit the country this year, should benefit from a break in the hostilities.
In his late night address last December 7 however, Duterte said, “There will be no ceasefire ever again under my term…For all intents and purposes, that ceasefire is dead. That’s gone. That has been long gone.”
Duterte agreed with the repeated and public announcements made by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) that it will not recommend the declaration of the traditional Yuletide season ceasefire with the NPA this year.
Nor would the military recommend that the government declare ceasefires with the NPA ever again, AFP spokesperson Maj. Gen. Edgard Arevalo said.
This will be the second consecutive year that the traditional ceasefires have not been declared.
With no break in the hostilities, the CPP ordered all units of the New People’s Army to “actively defend the masses and themselves against the attacks of the AFP and frustrate the enemy’s armed offensives and plans to terrorize the masses during these holidays.”
“They can carry out tactical offensives especially against attacking troops of the enemy, particularly those who have perpetrated massacres and extrajudicial killings and who are notorious for grave abuses and violations of human rights,” the group added.
The CPP also urged its members to celebrate the upcoming 52nd anniversary of the Party with secret meetings and assemblies “to mark the event wherever and whenever possible.” # (Raymund B. Villanueva)